Pine siskin Facts

Pine siskin Facts
Pine siskin is a songbird that belongs to the family of finches. There are two subspecies of pine siskins that can be found in Canada, United States and Mexico. Pine siskin inhabits coniferous and mixed forests, meadows, woody pastures and grasslands. It sometimes visits gardens and backyards. Habitat destruction, collisions with vehicles and chemical pollution of the ground are major threats for the survival of pine siskins in the wild. Despite these factors, population of pine siskins is still large and stable.
Interesting Pine siskin Facts:
Pine siskin can reach 4.3 to 5.5 inches in length and 0.42 to 0.63 ounces of weight.
Upper parts of the body are brown and covered with numerous streaks. Lower parts of the body are grey or white-colored. Dusky brown wings are covered with two white bars. They end with yellow tips, just like the tail. Males and females look alike.
Pine siskin has slender body with long, pointed wings and short, notched tail. It has sharp, elongated, conical beak.
Pine siskin has specially designed throat pouch, called crop, that is used for storing of food. Pouch can store 10% of the bird's weight. Stored seed are used as valuable source of energy during the cold nights.
Pine siskin is an omnivore (it eats plants and meat). Its diet is mainly based on buds and seed, and occasionally on insects and grubs.
Pine siskin usually hangs upside down from the branches of coniferous trees while it eats seed.
Pine siskin belongs to a group of migratory birds, but it travels unpredictably (guided by available food sources). Pine siskin is able to increase metabolic rate for 40% and keep the body temperature stable during the cold periods of year.
Pine siskins communicate via short, harsh calls. Males produce long, more complex songs during the mating season. Pine siskin is also known as "pine chirper" because of its chirping calls.
Pine siskin is gregarious bird that lives and travels in large flocks.
Mating season of pine siskin takes place from March to May. Pine siskins usually produce 2 broods per season.
During the courtship, male sings, performs acrobatics in the air and feeds the female. Pair of birds remains monogamous during the nesting season.
Even though pine siskins live and build nests in colonies, each pair of birds occupies small area around the nest and defends it from intruders.
Female builds nest made of grass, twigs, moss, bark and lichen and uses feathers, hair and fur to line it. Nest is shallow and shaped like saucer. Construction of nest usually lasts 5 to 6 days.
Female lays 3 to 4 eggs between the April and May. Incubation lasts 13 days. Young birds are ready to leave the nest 15 days after hatching.
Pine siskin can survive more than 9 years in the wild.

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